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Opponent of EU and Ukraine Policies Elected New Slovak President

April 11—Euro-skeptic Peter Pellegrini, a member of the ruling Hlas party and speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, won the presidential runoff on April 6, an outcome that has now been officially confirmed by the country’s top election authority. Pellegrini scored 53.12% of the vote, with Ivan Korcok, a former pro-Western foreign minister, coming in second with 46.88% of the vote.

Pellegrini’s victory means that Prime Minister Robert Fico now has a strong ally in the highest office. Fico is a staunch opponent of the current EU policy course on next-door neighbor Ukraine. Moreover, it is under Fico that Slovakia stopped sending weapons to Ukraine from its reserves for free, instead choosing to execute normal contracts involving payment—and this included payment for the delivery of self-propelled howitzers. Before Fico took office last fall, Slovakia had sent €671 million worth of weapons, ammunition, and equipment to Ukraine.

Russia in Global Affairs Editor-in-Chief Fyodor Lukyanov interpreted Pellegrini’s election as a sign that voters have in essence voiced their desire to see an end to the war in Ukraine, according to Russian daily Vedomosti

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